High potato intake ups the risk of Hypertension, study

Do you consume high amount of potatoes? A new study has warned that high potato intake in any form (boiled, baked, mashed, etc) can significantly increase the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults. Potato is a common ingredient in Indian vegetables and consuming high amount of it can adversely affect health, warn researchers.

A team of scientists from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School has found that mixing potatoes with non-starchy vegetable can lower the risk of hypertension instead of increasing the risk.

For the study, researchers monitored dietary patterns of 1,87,000 participants including men and women for over 20 years. All participants were asked to some questionnaires regarding their potato intake and other dietary patterns. Participants also revealed when they were diagnosed with hypertension.

Lead author Dr. Lea Borgi, a physician in the Renal Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital said that people who had four or more servings of potatoes a week were at greater risk of developing hypertension at later stages of life when compared to other participants who ate potatoes once a month.

In addition, adding just one serving of non-starchy vegetable lowered the risk of hypertension.

Study authors explained that it might be due to high glycemic index present in potatoes that can lead to severe hike in the blood pressure leading to hypertension.

However, study authors further added that the research just shows an association and high potato consumption does not necessarily mean that it will cause hypertension.

The study has several limitations as it was based on self-reported data which can be inaccurate. Also, researchers tried to include other factors like calorie intake and the form in which potato was consumed along with substitutes.

Moreover, study authors suggested people to include non-starchy vegetables in their diet as it might prevent you from the disease.

The study appeared in The BMJ.